No Head Retention

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Slackjawls

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My stout has zero head retention. My municipal water is untreated snow melt. I know you need higher alkalinity for big beers. Next time I'll condition the water before brewing. So what can I do now? Can I add something to the keg to help with head retention? I'm using CO2 not nitrogen, not ideal for stout, but I've been told by a couple of seasoned homebrewers that you can get decent head with CO2.
 

day_trippr

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I know for sure you can get a rocky, persistent head on a stout with straight CO2.

But I don't think that's something you can enhance post-boil - or maybe even post-mash. Heck, maybe even post-recipe creation. Then again, I didn't know that alkalinity played a role in head formation/retention.

I love my nitro stout, but I remember loving my CO2 stout, too :D

Cheers!

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glenn514

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Head retention is also related to various residues in the glassware. Wet the inside of your beer glass and sprinkle some salt on it. Vigorously rub the inside of the glass with the salt/water combination, then rinse thoroughly and dry. When you pour your next beer, you should have a lovely head because the glass is totally clean. If you still don't have a head, there is something wrong with the brew.

glenn514:mug:
 

JBIII

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Slackjawls,

What grain bill did you use and what process did you use to carb? And there is not really much I can think of post fermentation which would increase head retention other than super-charging it, which I don't think would be desirable as the carbonic bite would intensify the bitterness of a stout...

But if your beer is otherwise fantastic...just tell yourself it's 'cask conditioned' and enjoy!
 

muse435

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What kills my head is my dishwasher. If you use the detergent that is "spot free" that chemical will prevent head retention. Don't know if this is relevant to you but thought I'd share.
 

campbellmike

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You can try adding maltodextrin. It helped with mouth feel and head retention on a porter we made. It didn't add any flavor or sweetness. We added 8 oz to 5 gal.
 

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